« AnteriorContinuar »
CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME.
OF ST. PAUL'S FIRST
EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS.
Of the Time of St. Paul's Arrival at Corinth. We are told, Acts xvii. 15. That after Paul was driven by the unbelieving Jews, from Thessalonica, and Beræa, he went to Athens, the most celebrated city in Greece, intending to make the gospel known to the learned there. But the contempt in which the Athenian philosophers held his doctrine and manner of preaching, convincing him that it would be to no purpose to stay long among them, he left Athens soon and went to Co. rinth, now become the metropolis of the province of Achaia, and of equal fame for the sciences and the arts with Athens itself.
On his arrival in Corinth, he found Aquila and his wife Priscilla, two Jewish Christians, who had lately come from Italy, because Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome, Acts xviii. 2.' According to the best chronologers, Claudius's edict against the Jews, was published in the with year of his reign, answering to A. D. 51. Claudius began his reign on the 24th of January. Wherefore, notwithstanding his edict against the Jews inight come forth early in the xith year of his reign, yet, as the Jews would be allowed a reasonable time to settle their
affairs, and take themselves away, we cannot suppose that Aquila and Priscilla arrived at Corinth, sooner than the end of the spring in the year 51. And seeing they were settled in Corinth, and carrying on their business of tent-making, when the apostle arrived, his arrival cannot be fixed sooner than the summer of that year.–This epoch of St. Paul's arrival at Corinth merits attention, because it will be of use in fixing the dates of other occurrences, which happened both before and after that event.
Being come to Corinth, the apostle immediately preached in the synagogue. But the greatest part of the Jews opposing themselves and blaspheming, he told them he would go to the Gentiles, Acts xviii. 6. Knowing, however, the ten.per and learning of the Gentiles in Corinth, and their extreme profligücy of manners, he was in great fear when he first preached to them, 1 Cor. ii. 3. But the Lord Jesus appeared to liim in a vision, and bude him not be afraid, but speak boldly, because he had much people in that city, Acts xviii. 9, 10. In obedience to Christ's command, Paul preached almost two years in Corinth, (ver. 11. 18.) and gathered a very flourishing church, in which there were some Jews of note, ver. 8. But the greatest part were idolatrous Gentiles, 1 Cor. xii. 2.—The members of this church being very numerous, were so much the object of the apostle's attention, that he wrote to them two long and excellent letters, not only for establishing them in the belief of his apostleship, which a false teacher, who came among them after his departure, had presumed to call in question, but to correct certain irregularities, into which many of them had fallen in his absence, and for other purposes which shall be mentioned in sect. iv. of this preface.
Of the Character and Manners of the Corinthians in their Heathen State.
Before Corinth was destroyed by the Romans, it was famous for the magnificence of its buildings, the extent of its commerce, and the number, the learning and the ingenuity of its inhabitants, who carried the arts and sciences to such perfection, that it was called by Cicero, tulius Græ ia lum n, the light of all Greece: and by Florus, Græciæ decus, the ornament of Greece. The lustre, however, which Corinth derived from the number and genius of its inhabitants, was tarnished by their debauched